AUDI is tackling the problem of its new ‘e-tron’ electric cars making no noise by looking at the science fiction film genre.
The firm’s acoustic technicians – ‘acousticians’ – are trying to find the best way to make their new electric cars safe – and the science fiction blockbuster ‘I, ROBOT’ is helping them.
Audi’s forcoming ‘e-tron’ electric cars make virtually no sound up to 15mph highlighting safety issues, with blind organisations in around the world calling for electic cars to make noise.
But it is not just safety concerns, Audi are also interested in how the Audi of the future should sound. Christian Schüller, head of brand development/corporate identity, says: ‘We want to underscore that an electric or hybrid Audi is an innovative product. We also want to make our Vorsprung durch Technik audible in the era of electric mobility.’
So Audi is looking at Hollywood and science fiction films. ‘The sounds used for space ships in films are reminiscent of car sounds, yet are also very different, making this a rather interesting approach,’ says Dr. Ralf Kunkel, Head of Acoustics at Audi.
‘But the sound will be new and unusual. The Audi RSQ from the 2004 Hollywood film ‘I, Robot’, starring Will Smith, gives an indication of how an Audi might sound in the future.’
by JAMES BATCHELOR